Generation next: managing talent in SMPs

The second in a series of sector-specific 'Generation Next' studies, this report explores the work preferences and career aspirations of younger professionals in small and medium-sized practices, globally.


In 2016 ACCA published the results of its Generation Next study (ACCA 2016a), to which almost 19,000 members and students aged 16 to 36 years old responded, sharing their views on what attracted them to a career in finance, their ambitions and how they like to learn.

This is the second in a series of follow-up sector-specific reports. It focuses on the 1,278 respondents from that global study who are working for small or medium-sized accountancy practices (SMPs) today. 

Encouragingly, this research shows that the new generation of young accounting and finance professionals working in the world of SMPs – 'Generation Next' – is well equipped to deal with changes being driven by globalisation and technology.

The findings suggest this is because these professionals deeply value the opportunity to learn and to gain a breadth of experience in their current roles. They anticipate that in the future, further innovation across the SMP sector should enable them to focus on much higher value-added activity. Nonetheless, for the time being, they believe that work-life balance and job security are important features of their roles – and ones that they would like to retain.